LAS VEGAS — Not only is Kaycee Feild a four-time world champion bareback rider, he’s somewhat of a prophet.
In a story written by Patrick Everson for the Las Vegas Review Journal, Feild said this about Mason Clements: “I pick him for the average title. He’s focused like I’ve never seen him focused. Mason’s gonna really start to capitalize in the fifth, sixth round.”
So far, so good. Clements and Korkow Rodeo’s Onion Ring danced across the Thomas & Mack Arena dirt for 88.5 points and the fifth-round victory Monday at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It was worth $26,231 for Clements, who was born in Las Vegas and now lives in Santaquin, Utah.
“That horse is phenomenal right from the get-go, and he finishes even stronger,” he said. “It’s funny; you get frustrated with how things aren’t going, and it will cost you. Keep it simple; don’t over-complicate it.”
Clements placed third on opening night but hadn’t reached the pay window until Monday. He bucked off Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery in Saturday night’s “eliminator pen” of bucking horses but round features the toughest-to-ride broncs in the game.
“You’re going to have struggles, you’re going to have setbacks and it’s going to be a little tough,” he said. “You have to keep your focus and keep your head level every night. I came here tonight just like every other night, focused and ready.”
That’s a pretty veteran thought process for an NFR rookie. Clements scrambled at the end of the season to move into the No. 15 spot and earn the rights to compete in Sin City this week. He’s taken everything he’s learned through the rigors of the season and placed it into a premium spot in his brain.
Feild told the Review Journal that Clements’ work ethic is a big reason the 25-year-old is here. That has been proven in five rounds. He has earned $49,558 and has moved up six spots to ninth in the world standings.
“I’ve been dreaming of that (first win) and dreaming of it, replaying every scenario over in my head just to be at the Thomas & Mack and making sure I’ve got everything perfect — exactly the way I want to ride, exactly the way I need to ride,” Clements said.
He gets to do this in front of a lot of family and friends, whether they came from just down the street or made the short drive from Utah. He’s taken all the lessons he can get, especially from people like Feild, a friend and traveling partner.
“He told me, ‘You’re doing fine; keep it simple,’” Clements said. “To me, listening to advice from him is like hearing it from a parent or brother, because that’s the closest thing I have to a relationship in rodeo.”